1. Nose tackle Chris Neild, a backup to Barry Cofield last season, tore the ACL in his left knee in practice Monday and will miss the season. The 2011 seventh-round pick out of West Virginia received limited playing time as a rookie. Neild would have had a tough time making it this season with the emergence of Chris Baker, who was among the early training camp standouts. Baker can play end or nose; Neild was strictly a run-stopping nose tackle.
“Chris is a fighter,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. “It’s a temporary setback for him.”
2. Tim Hightower, who has been limited in practice all of camp following his ACL surgery in November, might play in the Aug. 25 preseason game vs. Indianapolis, Shanahan said.
“I’ve seen some big strides out of him over the last two to three days,” Shanahan said. “His quickness has vastly improved from three weeks ago and now we have to put him in team situations and see how he reacts. There’s a big difference from when he first started.”
3. Left tackle Trent Williams (bruised left foot) participated in part of the full-team work. He said he originally planned to only take half the snaps. But his foot became sore – he was running with a slight limp – causing him to exit earlier than planned. Right guard Chris Chester (sprained left ankle) had hoped to practice in full-team drills, but did not. Wide receivers Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan both left practice for heat-related issues.
4. Robert Griffin III’s locker is a billboard of reminders, perhaps to both himself and others. Fixed near the top of a locker is a sign that reads: “Forget about being MVP, Forget about being in the Pro Bowl. Those are nice consolation prizes if you don’t get a SUPER BOWL RING” Underneath that sign is another that says: “KNOW YOUR WHY”
Finally, there were smaller messages with the words “Conquer Every Obstacle” “Sacrifice” and “Army Strong”.
And now you know.
5. Tight end Fred Davis typically flashed often during previous training camps. Not this summer. With a new quarterback, two new receivers, Davis hasn’t been targeted as much. And some of the routes he runs requires Griffin to throw on the move, something he’s still mastering.
“I feel it has been a little more quieter than usual,” Davis said. “It’s because the way we’re doing the offense right now we’re just doing a lot of stuff and trying to add a lot of different things. When the season comes that’s when you can tell what the situation will be. But for right now we’re trying to add a lot of different things. We have a lot of different plays we’re doing with Robert and to help him in any way we can. But to me it definitely feels that way [quiet].”
Davis said he’s improved as a route-runner.
“I’m more of a technician in my routes,” he said, “and at the top of my routes, getting low and getting out of my breaks quicker. I feel more fluid, more confident in that.”
6. Tight end Niles Paul was walking around in a T-shirt that read, “You had me at Helu” (courtesy of Ball Hogs Radio).
7. Paul said he graded out well as a blocker vs. Buffalo in the preseason opener. But as a receiver? Well… not so much. However, it prompted Paul to resume catching passes before and after practice. Last year, he’d catch 50 passes before practice and 100 afterward with tight ends coach Sean McVay.
He hasn’t done that this summer, until Saturday.
“Me and Sean put in extra work,” Paul said. “It seemed like I spent so much extra time on blocking that I forget I’m still a receiver at the end of the day…That’s why I told Sean we have to get back to the basics.”
8. Roy Helu injury update.
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